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how does terrorism stop
September 20, 2001
2:20 pm
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September 24, 2010
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i keep turning the recent terrorist attack over and over in my mind. I'm shocked to my core that any person could plan and execute something as cruel and destructive as that. But when I look at history, there are more gruesome examples of reigns of terror, terrorism and religious or nationalistic fanatism. I tend to agree whith whoever said *sin begins when you stop seeing people as people and start seeing people as things*.

But looking through history I don't really find any consistent pattern of *this* stops. It rather seems that the main protagonists need to be put away (into prison like the german terrorist group of Baader Meinhof - or into the grave by natural causes or by violent death, e.g. like Hitler). But then - what makes the people surrounding terrorism cease to feel violent? How can you tip the balance toward a reasonable and rational way of solving problems or threats?
To me it rather seems that afterwards nobody worked through it. People just got on whith their lifes - being embarassed or bearing a grudge - but acting differently. More often than not it's not over when you think it's over. So: how and why does (did) terrorism stop? Anybody? Any suggestions?
A rather puzzled Eve

September 23, 2001
6:55 pm


One stops terrorism by non-violent conflict. See Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, JC, Buddha, et. al. Real worthwhile battles are fought in the mind for the mind. Violence never achieves anything other than acquiescence, compliance, passive aggression and more violence. None of these results are conducive to maintaining the objective of the violent person or nation, which is to have sustainable power. All malevolent power mongers come unstuck sooner or later - Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Gaddaffi, Edi Amin, etc. However people like Mahatma Gandi, the Buddha, Christ etc have left an indelible mark on the consciousness of mankind, a mark that will be there long after Genghis Khan is forgotten.

September 24, 2001
4:19 pm
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Hmmm, most of these *non violent* conflicts were not at all free of violence.

There were thousands of deaths during early christianity (martyrs), thousands of Indians slain by the British and black liberation wasn't exactly peaceful, was it? I don't know about Buddha, though.

Could we say that the common denominator in all those examples that you chose is that people stand for what they believe to be right, whithout wanting to hurt somebody else for their beliefs?

And how many groups or people may there have been, who saved their souls by non-violent conflict, but are lost in history, forgotten forever because they were not as sucessful as Martin Luther King, Christ and Ghandi?

Then what about *modern* time ethnic or religious conflicts. In Europe there are two areas where there is still a lot of violence (northern Ireland, and the Bask territory in France and Spain), there doesn't seem to be any end to it. Yet another area, just like that is Suedtirol. They seem to have found their peace. Until about fourty years ago the Italian and the German ethnic groups fought violently against each other. Every family lost some male relatives to this fight - older people still remember well. I talked to some of them. They don't really say that using violence was wrong, they know a lot of justifications for every single assault, each burning of houses.... They don't know why things are peaceful now. Almost all of them say that they are very glad about the peace. But they can't really say how it came about.

And then there was this series of explosive letters here in Austria. Somebody sent them to all kinds of organisations that work on the integration of foreign people. There seemed to be a right wing group behind it. But then they caught this lonley lunatic, just by chance. Because one of his bombs took off both his arms. He went to court, screaming nazi abuse all the time and finally managed to hang himself after he was sentenced to lifelong prison. And wasn 't everybody relieved about this *end* of right wing terrorism?

Sorry for rambling

September 24, 2001
6:30 pm


Neither Gandhi nor the civil rights activists in Nashville denied that violence would occur as a response to their protests. They just refused to be the perpetrators of the violence. In the end the perpetrators had to face the fact that they couldn't manipulate the behaviour of the oppressed groups by violence and gave up and came around.

All violent behaviour is driven by a motive to control somebody or some thing. If control is not achieved the violence soon stops. However, this is not to say there will be no cost in a non-violent conflict. In any conflict there is a cost. If the USA strikes at Afghanistan it would justify the hate progaganda of Ben Laden and could unite the whole Muslim nations against the US and its allies. The whole world could very easily erupt into Armaggeddon. Is this what the average peace loving American family wants?

Do two wrongs make a right? Is the killing of innocent Afghan men, women and children justified by the events two weeks ago?

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